When we habitually dwell on the past, we are far more likely to be unhappy in our day-to-day experience. If we focus on our past mistakes, we will quite naturally become negative about our future. When we are negative about our future, we will inevitably feel despair in the present.
We can alleviate the pressure and stress of past mistakes, firstly, by acknowledging that we are not infallible – everyone makes mistakes. When we understand that we are not exempt from messing up from time to time, then we make accepting our mistakes a whole lot easier. We can chalk it up to experience and, having learned a little about ourselves, people, and/or certain circumstances, we can grow from the experience.
It can be therapeutic to view past events as our very own personal life lessons that have the potential to raise us to higher levels of awareness.
Whilst the people, events, and circumstances that we encounter throughout life can offer up some extremely valuable guidance, our own mistakes and past regrets can make us strong and offer up insights that can shape our own character.
Mistakes, frustrations, and failures are inevitable. We can choose to view them with disappointment and grief or as opportunities to evolve.
I used to say, many years ago, that we are all, today, the sum total of all our yesterdays. These days, I would say that every experience, each encounter, all situations contribute to who you are today in exact accordance with whether you view the past with pessimism or optimism, failure or progress, regret or gratitude.
Today, I want to assure you that, although you may make mistakes and blunders throughout life, the only real mistake is not learning from your experiences.
One of the most beneficial practices in transforming a negative outlook to one of positivity that I have encountered is the Gratitude List. When we add up all that we ourselves consider to be the positive aspects of our daily experience, we can begin to be grateful for our past. Also, when we begin to look for ways in which our so-called negative experiences have benefited us in the long term, we can then begin to view negative experiences, feelings, and emotions as ‘friendly’ learning opportunities.
Sometimes past events have a way of sticking with us and can be mentally or emotionally difficult to deal with and get through.
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